Google has officially released the new YouTube homepage into the wild, bringing with it a revamped look for Channels and a brand new overall design. It's all part of Google's ongoing campaign to give itself a facelift, bit by bit - but it's also a major part of bringing YouTube and the Google+ social network even closer together.
To wit, the new YouTube homepage shows a feed of the videos your Google+ (or Facebook, if you're into that sort of thing) friends have been sharing. You can also view a list of recommended YouTube Channels or customize what your homepage looks like. Basically, it doesn't add much by way of new functionality, but it's a new look that brings the social aspect front-and-center.
The new Channels design aims to bring YouTube content creators new templates to intelligently display their videos, "whether you produce one video a week or have thousands of videos for a fan to browse," according to the official blog entry.
But it's the new overall design that's going to spur the most YouTube user controversy. Aimed at making the site "cleaner and simpler," it brings a consistent gray background and a streamlined watch page, along with bigger video thumbnails. The new look is based on a refined July's experimental "Cosmic Panda" design, Google says.
So why the new design? Google says that as YouTube expands into the classroom and the sciences, the time is right to improve the experience for all.
Interestingly, despite Google's claims that everyone should see the new YouTube now, I'm still seeing the old design. Let me know if it's working for you in the comments - and what you think.